Cristiano Ronaldo left Man Utd teammate fuming in training: “He belongs in a circus”

Cristiano Ronaldo‘s unique skills once left Manchester United team-mate Ruud van Nistelrooy fuming in training – prompting an angry response out of him.

An 18-year-old Ronaldo had just made the £12million switch from Sporting Lisbon to Old Trafford in the summer of 2003 to replace David Beckham and wear the iconic number seven shirt. The unbelievable skilled youngster saw an opportunity in training to simply do what he does best and show his tricks. However, in the process, the then-youngster failed to provide a simple pass to the Dutch striker.

Rio Ferdinand, who spent five years playing alongside Ronaldo, reminisced about the training ground altercation between the two. “He used to get snapped in training but I remember one time, I think it was a good moment for him but he didn’t take it too well,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport last year. “Ruud [Van Nistelrooy] was the man at United at the time. He was the man who scored all the goals.

“Ronaldo had the ball wide and was doing tricks and Ruud was making the run in the box, Ronaldo didn’t pass and Ruud went crazy, screaming. ‘He should be in the circus, he shouldn’t be on the pitch,’ Ruud said, and walked in, off the training pitch, and Ronaldo got upset and angry – ‘Why is he talking to me like that?’

“He was 18 or 19 at the time. Some kids would’ve gone under and lost confidence. Some would’ve kept doing the same but Ronaldo knew that Ruud might be right and then it became all about numbers, about statistics, goals. What is going to make him the best player in the world?

“We used to say to him, take the mick out of him and say, ‘You are not the real No. 7 at the club, you’ve got George Best and Beckham’ and you could see him thinking, ‘How can I derail them?’”

HAVE YOUR SAY!! What did you make of Ruud van Nistelrooy’s comments towards Ronaldo? Have your say in the comment section below…





Cristiano Ronaldo's altercation with Ruud van Nistelrooy made him focus on becoming a better player


Cristiano Ronaldo’s altercation with Ruud van Nistelrooy made him focus on becoming a better player

Ferdinand believes the altercation later made Ronaldo realise it was time to ditch the tricks and focus on becoming the best he could possibly be. “It didn’t happen instantly but he was unbelievably skilful and he was there to entertain the crowd,” Ferdinand added. “He loved doing skills.”

In the end, Ronaldo quickly turned from boy to man, scoring 118 goals in 292 appearances under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferdinand continued: “When we were going to a premiere, he was asked, ‘Who’s the best player ever?’ and Ronaldo said, ‘Me’. He’s got an ego but he’s got pride and an obsessive nature and came [to United] as a kid and left as the best player in the world.”

Meanwhile Van Nistelrooy left United in 2006, making a £10m switch to Santiago Bernabeu after 219 outings at Old Trafford, scoring 150 goals.

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